The euro depreciated sharply vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar
today as the single currency tested bids
around the US$ 1.2805 level and was capped around the $1.2995 level. The common currency reached its lowest level
since March 2009 as sovereign credit concerns worsened in the eurozone and the
threat of contagion to other major industrialized countries worsened.Germany and France are offering the most
financial assistance to Greece as part of a multilateral bailout plan that
includes the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund.The European Central Bank this week decided
to allow Greek debt for repo-eligible collateral despite the fact that it has
been downgraded to junk status.The ECB
will announce its interest rate decision and is expected to keep all options
open but not reduce its headline main refinancing rate target.ECB member Weber highlighted the risk of ‚Äúcontagion
effects‚ÄĚ from the Greek crisis.The risk
of contagion has certainly heightened as Moody‚Äôs reported it placed Portugal‚Äôs
Aa2 government bond rating on review for a possible downgrade, a move that would
likely happen in the next three months.Data released in the eurozone today saw EMU-16 April PMI services
improve to 55.6 from the prior reading of 55.5 while the April PMI composite
remained steady at 57.3.Also, EMU-16
March retail sales improved to 0.0% m/m and -0.1% y/y.German data saw April PMI services improve to
55.2 from 55.0 while French April PMI services improved to 59.2 from 57.8.In
U.S. news, data released in the U.S. today saw MBA mortgage applications
improve 4.0% from the prior reading of -2.9%.Also, April Challenger job cuts were off 71.1% y/y, down from the prior
reading of -55.0.On a positive note,
the April ADP employment change survey came in stronger than expected at
+32,000 private jobs, up from the upwardly revised +19,000 prior reading.Finally, the April ISM non-manufacturing
composite ticked higher to 55.4.The
most important data to be released this week include the April non-farm
payrolls data with many forecasts calling for a gain of about 190,000 jobs and
the unemployment rate steady at 9.7%.Boston
Fed President Rosengren reported he is still ‚Äúworrying about‚ÄĚ the weak housing
market. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.2740 level.
The yen appreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the
greenback tested bids around the ¬•94.00 figure and was capped around
the ¬•95.00 figure.Traders continue to
move into yen as a safe haven play on account of the global sovereign credit
crisis.Japanese financial markets were
again closed overnight for the ongoing Golden Week holiday.. Last
week, Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged overnight and reported it
will help lenders provide credit, possibly using methods from 1998-1999 when
lenders gave cash to lenders to address the credit squeeze.The headline overnight unsecured call rate
target was maintained at 0.1%. BoJ Governor Shirakawa directed the central bank
to stimulate lending ‚Äúwith a view to strengthening the foundations for economic
growth.‚ÄĚ He added ‚ÄúThe government is also trying to map out an economic growth
strategy, and the Bank of Japan hopes to give a boost to such efforts with new
policy measures.‚ÄĚ Last week‚Äôs data released in Japan evidence an improving
economy that is mired in a deflationary spiral and the central bank‚Äôs enhanced
rhetoric last week reflects that dichotomy.The new forecast for inflation suggests deflation will end during the
next fiscal year with CPI at +0.1%.April
monetary base data will be released tomorrow.The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.21% last Friday to close at
¬•11,057.40.U.S. dollar offers are cited
around the ¬•96.85 level.The euro moved lower vis-√†-vis the yen
as the single currency tested bids around the ¬•120.70 level and was capped around
the ¬•123.35 level.The British pound moved lower vis-√†-vis the yen as sterling tested bids
around the ¬•141.85 level while the Swiss
franc moved lower vis-√†-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¬•84.25 level.
In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated
vis-√†-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8263 in the
over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8268. Data released in China this week saw the April
HSBC manufacturing PMI index decline to 55.4 from the prior reading of 57.0. In contrast, the CFLP April PMI measure
released last week improved to 55.7 from 55.1.The markets reacted this week by focusing on the weaker number,
enhancing global risk aversion.Chinese
banks are increasing their reserves after People‚Äôs Bank of China raised its
bank reserves ratio for the third time this year this weekend and Chinese
equities declined to a seven-month low today.There is market chatter that China may lift its reserve ratio as high as
18% in a bid to manage economic growth.People‚Äôs
Bank of China is expected to revalue its yuan currency at any time.Ratings agency Fitch reported Chinese banks
may need to be bailed out ‚Äúif we do see a pretty serious correction in the
British pound depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids
around the US$ 1.5065 level and was capped around the $1.5170 level. There is a growing consensus that Tory leader
Cameron could win tomorrow‚Äôs general election and may agree a deal with Ulster
unionists that could cement a majority in Parliament, averting a hung
Parliament.If Cameron wins the
election, his ability to form a majority election will be dictated by the
number of seats his Tory party picks up.If he is close to a majority, a deal with the Ulster unionists could be
made to avoid having to agree a deal with the Liberal Democrats and Clegg.If he is not close to a majority, he may have
to agree a deal with the Liberal Democrats and Clegg to try and consolidate
power.Regardless of the outcome, a
Cameron victory could push the pound higher as it was the Tories who resisted
the Blair initiative several years ago to accede Economic and Monetary Union
and join the euro.Data released in the
U.K. today saw April PMI construction improve to 58.1 from the prior reading of
53.1.Cable bids are cited around the
US$ 1.5030 level.The euro depreciated vis-√†-vis the British pound as the single
currency tested bids around the ¬£0.8490 level and was capped around the ¬£0.8575
franc depreciated vis-√†-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers
around the CHF 1.1185 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1020 level. There is ongoing talk that the Swiss National
Bank continued to protect the CHF 1.4320 level on the EUR/CHF cross to prevent
Swiss exporters.Data to be released in
Switzerland tomorrow include April consumer price inflation followed by the
April unemployment rate on Friday along with March retail sales.U.S. dollar
offers are cited around the CHF 1.1270 level.The euro moved higher
vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc as the single currency tested offers around the CHF
1.4325 level while the British pound appreciated
vis-√†-vis the Swiss franc and tested offers around the CHF 1.6865 level.
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